Traveling With Kids: Staying Healthy


Sick Nikko in Japan

You did all the research, booked the tickets, the hotels, the activities, then arrive at the hotel and suddenly your kiddo doesn’t look so good. Maybe he barfs all over the plush bed, or she starts coughing something fierce, and you see your winter escape disintegrate into iPads and too much TV as you try to stay sane and care for your little bundle of joy. Sound familiar?

We all get sick. And our immune systems don’t care if you are in Thailand, Temecula, or Timbuktu. So how do you deal with a sick kid when you are on the road? Patience. Flexibility. And all the other skills you need as a parent.

As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel room in Santa Monica, on a gorgeous November day. Nikko, my two year old is passed out on my lap with a fever, runny nose and a serious case of the runs. The sad truth is that this is not the first time I have been away with sick kids. Nor is it the last.

My kids have barfed all over me on planes. We’ve had horrid stomach viruses in tight quarters. Nikko had some crazy fever bug in Miyajima, Japan that forced us into urgent care minutes before our ferry was to depart. Kai had croup and we were in the hospital getting him injected with steroids three hours before boarding a plane to Oahu. And the list, sadly, goes on.

So how do you deal with the crushed expectations, the sad little kiddos, and ensuring the wellness of your family?

The same way you do when you are at home.

You eat well. Drink lots of water. Sleep a lot. Wash your hands. And take time to rest.

However, when that doesn’t work, you have to be ok with slowing down and giving your little one time to build up his immune system before you throw him back on the streets to bike miles down the beach, or climb hills, or ride yet another ferry. No one will be happy if you force them to HAVE FUN when they are not feeling well.

Trust me, a day spent indoors, no matter how lovely it is outside, to rest, will allow you and your family to have a better getaway. Pick up a book and give yourself a break too, because if your immune system is like mine, chances are you might be next in line for the bug, and giving yourself time to rest helps prevent illness.


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